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GM Temporarily Halting Production of Chevy Volt

But maker insists sales of the plug-in are increasing rapidly.

by on Aug.28, 2012

A Chevrolet Volt moves down the assembly line at the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center.

For the second time this year, General Motors will halt production of the Chevrolet Volt for several weeks — but company sources insist the move does not signal problems with the plug-in hybrid which got off to a slow start after its introduction in December 2010.

In fact, GM expects to report that demand has surged to a record for the Volt this month, more than doubling year ago levels. Depending on what happens the rest of this week, August sales could near 2,500, has learned.

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“The sky is not falling,” insisted a well-placed GM source involved in the Volt program. In fact, Dealers across the country have less Volt inventory in stock than that of some other mainstream Chevrolet models.


Volt Plant to Shut for Retooling, Allowing Expanded Production

Upgrades at plant will also allow GM to build 2013 Chevrolet Malibu there.

by on Jun.09, 2011

GM will temporarily shut down the plant where the Chevrolet Volt is built for retooling and to allow for expanded production.

General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, home of the Chevrolet Volt, will close for four weeks beginning in June for planned upgrades to prepare for a significant increase in the rate of Volt production, along with assembly of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan.

Already in tight supply, the number of Volts available for delivery to retail customers will be further restricted  before production resumes. At that point, GM will begin producing the Volt and the Opel Ampera for export to Europe and China.

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“The Volt will be available to customers nationwide by the end of 2011,” said Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet Volt marketing. “By taking the time to reconfigure the plant, we will be better able to meet the tremendous consumer demand.”


Nissan Confirms Slow Launch of Leaf Battery Car

Delays likely to continue through spring, maker says.

by on Jan.22, 2011

It could take awhile for delivery even if you've already placed an order for the Nissan Leaf.

A slow and cautious approach to rolling out the all-new Nissan Leaf could frustrate customers who’ve been waiting to take delivery of the market’s first mass-production battery-electric vehicle.

The Japanese maker has confirmed to that it has decided to slow the initial production ramp-up “to get it absolutely perfect and make sure there’s no perception the car isn’t ready for market,” said Nissan’s chief U.S. spokesman David Reuter.

Nonetheless, he acknowledged that could lead to some frustration among anxious motorists – 20,000 of which have already placed preliminary orders for the compact, battery-powered sedan.  Since its launch, last month, U.S. deliveries have only been “in the 100s,” according to spokesman Reuter, who anticipated, “We’ll be getting up to normal production by April.”

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The challenge for Nissan is that it is working not only with an all-new product platform but with an entirely new powertrain technology, one that has never been put into truly high-volume production before.  One of the most difficult issues is ensuring that the Leaf’s lithium-ion battery pack comes out of the plant in shape to meet the demands of the automotive environment.


Demand Already Strong, GM Looking To Ramp Up Chevy Volt Production

Maker adding 1,000 jobs in battery car development.

by on Nov.30, 2010

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt officially goes into production.

Even as it confirms plans to add another 1,000 jobs to boost its battery car program, General Motors said it is contemplating whether to expand production of the new Chevrolet Volt.

GM CEO Dan Akerson, while stopping short of saying the Volt will be a runaway hit, says he has asked for a study of whether it’s feasible to ramp up production of a vehicle that was supposed to undergo a slow and cautious roll-out reflecting both uncertain demand and the challenge of producing an entirely new type of powertrain technology.

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For 2011, GM originally targeted production of just 10,000 Chevy Volts, with the figure to climb to 45,000 in 2011. But speaking at the official launch of production at the GM assembly plant in Detroit, Tuesday morning, Akerson said, “My sense is there is going to be a lot of demand for this vehicle.”

(Akerson spoke publicly for the first time after GM’s November 18 IPO, a stock offering he described as “successful beyond expectations.” Click Here for that story.)

The so-called “Poletown” assembly plant is currently operating on only one shift so GM has at least the plant capacity to bump up Volt production. Battery-pack production could be a potential bottleneck, however, if demand for the Volt takes off.